Skip to content

Toggle service links

You are here

  1. Home
  2. Our work
  3. Colleges


The Open University in Scotland has active partnerships with 15 Scottish colleges, allowing students with a Higher National Certificate (HNC) or Higher National Diploma (HND) to get the appropriate credit transfer onto our Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science (Open) degrees, with or without honours.

Pathways and credit transfer arrangements can also enable students with relevant Higher National Qualifications to progress to specified OU named degrees. Further information is on our College Routes website.

Our collaborations with colleges also include:

OU studies on college campuses

Campus-based articulation model

Shirley-Anne Somerville with Susan StewartMany students with an HND continue to use the college as a study base for their OU degree, through our successful accredited learning programmes delivered on campus.

This can be advantageous due to location, for those with caring responsibilities or in employment, and students with disabilities.

Social Sciences partnerships with Ayrshire, Fife and North East Scotland Colleges are creating positive impacts for students, tutors and colleges; an interim review in 2016 showed they are an effective model for HN progression to Higher Education.

In January 2017, the then Minister for Further and Higher Education and Science, Shirley-Anne Somerville visited Ayrshire College, meeting partnership students, graduates and staff. She is pictured above (right) with OU in Scotland Director Susan Stewart (left).

It is fair to say that the Open University has revolutionised the higher education sector in terms of accessibility and flexibility for the modern day student.

It continues to lead the way with partnerships like this one with Ayrshire College, making Higher Education accessible at the heart of the community, in a college setting.

This Government is firmly committed to widening access and learning opportunities for all, and it is partnerships like this, that are making it a reality.

Shirley-Anne Somerville, Minister for Further and Higher Education and Science

Lecturer Andy Sinclair and student Scott MontgomeryIn July 2017 the campus-based programme won the prize for ‘Best Use of Articulation’ at the Herald Higher Education Awards. It was highly commended in the ‘Innovation’ category at the CDN (College Development Network) College Awards in October 2018.

Lecturer Andy Sinclair (left) and student Scott Montgomery (right) are pictured, right, at the 2018 Awards. Scott has blogged about his studies.

Campus-based degree

Since October 2017 The OU and City of Glasgow College have been piloting an innovative degree programme at the new state-of-the-art college campus in Glasgow.

In an extension of our college campus-based delivery, The OU is delivering a portfolio of modules from Levels 1-3 at the College to meet local demand for a combined programme of Social Sciences and Arts modules, with students studying towards the award of the flexible Bachelor of Arts (Hons) Open degree.

The programme also provides opportunities for students studying HNC and HND Social Science at the College to join the programme at Stage 2 or 3.

OU 'Learning Space'

In place at: Fife, Dumfries & Galloway, South Lanarkshire  plus New College Lanarkshire and West College Scotland, Learning Spaces enable local access for OU students to a range of support and study facilities.

Open Learning Champions at college

Opening Learning ChampionsTeaching staff at South Lanarkshire College (pictured) are our first college-based Open Learning Champions (OLCs).

These champions:

use The OU's free, open educational resources to engage learners;
help them plan their learning journeys from informal to formal study.

Pictured, left, are Opening Learning Champions Agnes Sutherland, Rhona Keys and Rachel Ballard.

They applied this approach to an eight week Faculty of Care 'Gateway to Social Care' course for adult returners, out of work and education for some time.

At an OLC workshop staff explored useful resources, including badged OpenLearn courses like Succeed with Learning, resources relevant to the social care curriculum, plus core skills such as communication.

Students could use open educational resources as evidence of notional hours of study, and reflection activities included in their portfolios, such as a Caring Counts course.

The college OLCs have since introduced the students to OpenLearn.

The resources were very useful and easy to navigate within the site. The class registered and were given time to explore the open learning resources, they are aware of the learning log and have all enrolled onto a course relating to care or core skills.

Rhona Keys, Curriculum Manager

The latest edition of the Open Learning Champions Newsletter is available online.

Contact us

For more information on:

How your college can work with us,
contact Steven McGeever,
Partnerships Manager.

The Open Learning Champions programme,
contact Gill Ryan,
Widening Access and Student Success Team.

Request your prospectus

Explore our qualifications and courses by requesting one of our prospectuses today.

Request prospectus